John Bullis: Don’t be a victim of a scam |

John Bullis: Don’t be a victim of a scam

John R. Bullis

There are bad folks that try to separate you from your savings. Scammers have many different ways to try to convince you to send them some money, directly or indirectly.

You may receive telephone calls that will require (urge) you to send the scammer some money by check or by credit card or even Western Union.

Safeguarding your personal information is not easy. The scammers can be very convincing.

They may tell you about a lottery or sweepstakes you “have won” but they need a processing fee to send it to you. It might even be a check you deposit in your bank account (that will be a fake that does not clear the bank). But the scammers will have your bank account information.

The ”grandparent” scam is well known, but still is effective enough to encourage the scammers to keep doing it. They say a fake grandchild has an unexpected financial problem and you can help by sending money by Western Union or MoneyGram. In my case it was a nephew that supposedly was in trouble in another state. A quick phone call by me to him at his work made it clear I should not send them any money (and I didn’t).

The “Medicare” scam is where the scammer poses as a Medicare representative that just “needs your personal information.” They then use the personal information to bill Medicare for bogus services. Please report all of those attempts to Medicare and do not give your information to the scammer.

“Funeral and cemetery” frauds are where the scammer tries to take advantage of a grieving widow or widower. They claim the deceased owed them money and ask you to send the money to pay off the fake debts.

Of course you want to seek new treatments or medications that will “help you look younger and feel better.” A fake Botox scam in Arizona netted the scammers about $1.5 million a year until they were finally caught and jailed. Trust your local doctors instead. Some of the fake medicines can be either worthless or even dangerous.

When it sounds “too good to be true,” just discuss it with someone you can trust. With more of us living longer, let’s avoid the possibility you will be a possible victim.

Did you hear “Life was never meant to be a struggle, just a gentle progression from one point to another, much like walking through a valley on a sunny day.” Stuart Wilde